Functional PET and functional MRI development

Shenpeng Li, Zhaolin Chen

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a medical imaging technique to detect the change of blood flow signal to reveal the underlying neuronal activation in the human brain. The function Positron-Emission Tomography (fPET) is a new nuclear medicine imaging technique that can measure the dynamic changes of the glucose utilisation in the human brain. Our simultaneous MR-PET scanner can acquire these two functional brain signals from different imaging modalities synchronously in both spatial and temporal domains. The joint analysis of synchronised fMRI and fPET signals explores the coherence of different metabolism information in the human brain.

The figure below shows that in a visual stimulation task, more glucose utilisation and associated blood-oxygen level changes were observed in the visual cortex. Not limited to the glucose utilisation, fPET has potential to explore various metabolism signals by using different radiotracers. The joint analysis different metabolism signals can help us to better understand how brain works.

Figure: The activation map of a visual-simulation task from different imaging modalities: (A) fPET activation map; (B) fMRI activation map.